Wedding Flowers: to DIY or Not to DIY?

Wedding flowers centerpiece

For those of us who may be DIY-inclined, it can be hard to reign ourselves in. Should we though? What about flowers? Are wedding flowers on the OK-to-do-myself list, or are they strictly for professionals? I can tell you I’ve personally been to a few weddings where the flowers were DIY (even helped DIY them), and overall they were beautiful. There are definitely pros and cons though, and you should know about them before making your decision.

So, to DIY or not to DIY?

Be Honest With Yourself

Are you really the type of person who can handle the pressure of DIYing such a huge part of your special day? If you know you’ll be a stress ball already or just too busy without time to delegate such a large task, don’t do the flowers yourself. It’s not worth ruining your day over. You could have a family member completely take over the project if you’re still firmly committed to the idea, giving you the day to get ready and take care of other little details. If you know you won’t be able to relax about them at all, then I would seriously consider hiring a professional or even forgoing wedding flowers in favor of other types of décor.

Another issue is whether they will turn out exactly how you plan. Will you be okay if your flowers look cool, but not quite exactly the cool you were going for? When DIYing your flowers, you won’t be able to do much to change how they look simply because of the absolutely necessary, late timing. This brings us to our next issue.

Timing Is Everything

wedding flowers boutonniere

Here’s the thing about DIYing your wedding flowers; the timing is kind of tricky. It’s definitely doable; it will just take some serious planning. As you know, flowers don’t last forever, and to add even more complication, different companies package different flowers differently. Confused yet? It’s actually not that bad. You’ll just want to purposefully time your flower delivery to coincide with you wedding date.

My advice would be to schedule your flowers to arrive two days before, open them the day before and get them in water, and let them sit for the entire night in a relatively cool area. The coolness keeps them from blooming. Early the next morning you’ll want to set them somewhere warm so that they can be at full bloom for your day.

Your greens are different; depending on how they’re packed you can sometimes order greens to arrive somewhat before your day. A lot of places vacuum seal them, so as long as you keep them in their packages, they will stay fresh. If you decide ultimately to DIY, you’ll have to prepare yourself to be down to the wire with timing. You’ll also want to read all directions from the wholesale store where you buy them. The store’s instructions and the way they package your flora will be your guiding post. You can base your ordering schedule off how it will all arrive.

Wholesale Is a Beautiful Word

wedding flowers bouquet

If you do decide to DIY your wedding flowers, you can order all you need wholesale. This option can be substantially cheaper than going the professional route. This is probably the biggest draw for going DIY with your flowers. If you’re willing to put in the work and thought, it could pay off big, literally.

Although ordering wholesale is cheap, there are some hazards. What if the company forgets to ship your items? What if all your roses come with broken stems? What if…? You get the picture. The unknowns can freak you out, but if you take precautions, this can be a nonissue.

I would suggest getting your flowers from a couple different companies and ordering extras. You can never have too many wedding flowers, and this way you’re not in trouble if one company doesn’t come through like you thought.

Total Control Can be Comforting

The potentially awesome thing about DIYing your own wedding flowers is the control you have over how they look. You want all black flowers? You get to decide. You want to place candy throughout all your arrangements? That’s your call. There are almost no parameters. This is especially great if you have a theme. You can add fun embellishments in any way you want! So many possibilities, and you get to personally oversee and create your vision.

Tips: Final Thoughts

wedding flowers bridesmaids bouquet

If DIYing your wedding flowers is still worth it to you despite the downsides, I’d like to offer some helpful tips!

Help help help. Recruit help. You will definitely need it. Gather your crafty-creative friends and family members and put them to work. Be sure to explain to them your general vision and offer help. This way you are working alongside other intelligent minds ready to give you what you need: support, ideas, feedback, a glass of wine, whatever.

Also, have a list of local flower farms ready. Maybe even consider going local for all your flower needs. This way you can coordinate with the flower farmer exactly what you’ll need and when. Either way it’s nice to have a backup or somewhere to go if your wedding  flowers aren’t what you thought they’d be and you’re desperate.

One last itty bitty tip… actually it’s a big one. Know your stuff! Do your homework. Are your flowers coming dry-packed? They’ll need time to re-hydrate. Actually use the packets that come with your flowers. These packets aren’t useless! Your flowers will keep much longer with the addition of the chemicals. It’s not the time to skimp people. If you’re gathering flowers from a friend’s yard or even wildflowers from ditches, know which ones keep well and which will wilt. Do a test run with these questionable flowers before your wedding day to make sure.

When I helped create the arrangements for my cousin’s wedding, I learned a whole lot about the flower dos and don’ts. If I could go back, I would probably rethink the wildflowers a bit — a lot of them wilted fast! It was kind of disappointing. If you decide to go ahead a DIY your flowers: breathe, create your best work, ask for help, know your stuff, and give yourself a pat on the back. You’re awesome!

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